It is no news that fresh water sources are getting scarcer by the minute. The demands for more water supplies are increasing in many parts of the world, regardless of the climate and weather conditions. It has become an important issue to tackle and it has been getting more attention each day.
Indeed, it is an issue that concerns us all. We all need fresh water to survive and we should all be anxious when the day comes that we won’t have anything clean to drink. The need for freshwater is worldwide and there is no doubt that this concern will go on for years.
Many areas are simply dry throughout the year. Unfortunately, they are not blessed with enough fresh water resources. It’s a larger problem than not having a refreshing view of a cool river or a revitalizing lake. Because of this, studies have been made to find alternative water resources.
Perhaps you would think that boiling dirty water will make it potable. Well, it can be considered as an alternative, but this procedure is not enough to sustain millions of people. This can be done per family, but what we need right now is a sustainable and efficient method to answer the demands for clean drinking water. Thanks to the science, we can now rely on saline water.
What is Saline Water?
Some areas that are abundant in saline water have come up with the solution to make it drinkable. Saline water contains a significant amount of dissolved salts. In layman’s term, it is called salt water. The concentration level is expressed as parts per million (ppm). For a quick comparison as to the concentration levels, ocean water has approximately 35,000 ppm of salt while fresh water has less than a thousand.
What is Desalination?
Turning saline water to freshwater is not new technology. The simple act of getting seawater to boil in a pan is desalination itself. It is an ancient method used by our ancestors to treat water. Many cultures have used this procedure to turn sea water into potable drinking water.
We don’t notice it, but it also happens in nature without human intervention. The hydrologic cycle is responsible for this phenomenon. This basic process happens when the sun sends energy that causes water from lakes, streams, and oceans to evaporate. From these surface sources stem the water vapor that combines with cooler air and condenses up again to produce the lovely dew or rain. From this we derive that a similar yet artificial process can be done to acquire clean drinking water. All we need to do is heat and cool it.
Three Simple Ways to Desalinate Water
Old folks would say that you can put all the salt that you want in the soup, but you can’t get it out once it is there. This isn’t the case in desalination. Let’s have a simple rundown on some ways on how to remove salt from saltwater.
Boiling Water in a Pot on a Stove
Take a Pyrex or metal cup and a large pot with a lid. Make sure that all materials are safe to be in contact with heat. Do not use plastic. Fill the pot with salt water until the level of the mouth of the glass, but make sure not a drop goes into it or else the whole method is ruined. Cover the pot with the lid upside down centering the handle of the lid on the glass. Make sure the pot is completely covered. Wait for the water to boil over low heat. After 20 minutes, the water becomes pure vapor and it drips right to the glass. After a few minutes of cooling, you can enjoy your fresh water!
Coastal Survival 101
Interestingly, another method of turning salt water into fresh water can be done when you are stranded in which case your life raft can have another use as a lifesaver. Take the gas bottle from your raft and fill it with sea water then attach the bottle’s hose to the leak stopper’s end. Plug the other end of the stoppers to the top of the gas bottle. Make sure it is properly sealed before you bury the hose under the sand. Find a clean container to catch the water from the end of the hose. After you make a fire, position the bottle above the flame to bring it to a boil.
This method is also similar to the last one, but what you will need are a clean large bowl and a smaller container. You also fill the larger container with saline water and place the smaller container on the center. Tightly seal the bowl with a plastic wrap. Place some weight on the center of the plastic wrap. A stone will do. This will make a dip on the center that will allow the fresh water to trail into the smaller container in the center. Condensation happens when you expose it to direct sunlight. Fresh water will form after a few hours and it will drip from the plastic wrap into your empty container at the center. This simple approach is also called solar still, solar plant, or plastic sheeting.
To sum up the processes, they are actually merely evaporation and collection. This information is very vital because of the water crisis that our world is currently experiencing. As more and more people are born every day, the percentage of water shortages all around the globe also increases. In the more arid areas of the world, this information should be spread like wildfire. Many health problems arise from the lack of potable drinking water. This should be given much attention.
As ordinary citizens, it is our duty to work towards having clean water to drink. A simple act such as sharing this information to our family and friends can help promote desalination as a resource of clean drinking water and as a means of preventing water shortage and health problems. Turning saline water to freshwater is not as hard as you think. Hopefully, this article has helped you learn how to do it the simplest way possible.